This October it’s the 60th anniversary of joining Turkey to NATO. In the heat of the “cold war” it was extremely important part of strategic planning of the North Atlantic Alliance. Those times its task was about counteracting to the extension of geopolitical influence of the Soviet Union. Except for that, together with Greece simultaneously joining the Alliance it was a natural barrier on the way of direct approach of the USSR to an oil-wealthy Near East.
High tensions reached a new level at the Kosovo-Serbia border after Serbian authorities refused to allow three trucks carrying cement from Kosovo to enter Serbia despite the reopening of one of the two contentious border crossings.
In course of almost two decades NATO has assured security in West Balkans. During this period interaction of the region with NATO has been drifted from peacemaking and crisis regulation to Euro-Atlantic integration.
In a thought-provoking forecast, CEPA Senior Fellow Edward Lucas anticipates Russia’s palpable decline by 2020, having fallen behind Brazil, India and China. Meanwhile, Central Europe will be on the ascent, with the three Baltic States “overtaking the sluggish, debt-ridden economies of Southern Europe.”
End of ‘balkanization’?
The West still expects much from Kazakhstan.